'Vish'wa-Vijeta

October 29th, 2008

The World Champion

To have chosen a Sanskrit title to this article has never been more apt. Today, Viswanathan Anand aka Vishy has retained his World Chess Championship title, defeating Russia’s Vladimir Kramnik with a 2 point margin. It is a proud moment for every Chess lover, particular so for an Indian or Indian by heart.

Congratulations! to the World Champion and long live Chess.

..and the war continues..!

October 28th, 2008

Counting days between cricket matches has become my hobby, a special mention of India and Australia on either side can only add desperation.

Now that the counting mode has shifted to few hours, a battle between the titans of Test Cricket is shortly underway. I do not care the result as my best guess always favors India, relentlessly in a stronger orthodox style. Everyone loves to see a champion fall hard, more so when the opponent is our own team, but Australia is a great Cricketing team who does ony one thing better, play the best Cricket that is humanly possible.

Feroz Shah Kotla, the favorite hunting ground for India, who have thrashed their opponents in their last 7 outings are eager to make it 8. And, Kumble might be already feeling pressure to perform at the same tone he had done in the past. With statistics at our fingertips, media has covered these contest like never before. They can even tell you how many time Kumble swept his face off sweat. This contest has already transpired into a war a war Australia desperately trying to contain and if not win it, at least get the compromise going on. I would watch these players very closely than ever before.

Sachin (he always tops my list, any list for that matter!)
With the big monkey off his back, he will be enjoying his cricket like never before. His intentions are more team-centric but he is a wizard in manipulating the bowlers and its a treat to watch how he handles Stuart Clark (if he is in the playing 11) and Bret Lee.

Ganguly
Having drawn the curtains over his retirement, he is I think the best person to watch when batting.

Sehwag
No person would be best to score a ton other than Sehwag. He is raring to go and after all its his home ground. Being in his prime form, he single goal is to destroy their bowling and make sure it doesn’t recover from that.

Hayden
He is in his own trouble world and he desperately wants to get out of it, sooner than later and he shall have to prove a point here, not for anyone but for himself. We can expect him to come very hard on our bowlers as long as he stays or he will fell too cheaply trying to do something he has not done ever before.

Ponting
More than Cricket I expect him to play with fire in his mouth and sweat on his tongue. He will do everything he can to avoid a defeat, be it slow over rate, wasting time or just jump into arguments with the umpires.

Micheal Clark
A cunning customer of Cricket who doesn’t play the game in it spirit, ever. Expect him to be the thorn in the Indian turf and it is interesting to watch how we burn that down.

and finally…

Dravid & Lakshman
Tow men, two stunning personalities. Test cricket runs in their veins and they haven’t really showed it yet. Both look in good knock with luck not favoring them enough. If Gods are merciful, they will create havoc from which a trillion Australian Teams would not return.

Wish all the best for India. I hope they just won’t crush them, but kill’em, better yet, at their own game.

Where are those lights?

October 28th, 2008
Diwali

Diwali

Today being Diwali, the most cherished and jubilant festival of India has always left good memories to me. When I was in India, I joined everyone in the relentless wait of celebrating Diwali with great zeal and utmost joy. Of all the festivals, probably Diwali is the only festival that truly fills light in everyone’s lives. Fondly called ‘festival of lights’ by the west, India celebrates yet another with the same fervor and enthusiasm. And, sitting thousands of miles apart, as usual, I just cherish on my memories and keep almost quite today.

As a nation who normally doesn’t know that festivals does happen during week-days, I am among the thousands who’ve lost the feeling of what really a week-day can bring to our lives, especially when it is a festival. Days and years are lost in the mindless rush of day-to-day lives and I sit here alone in my heart chewing on my past and satisfying my selfish ego. But sometimes, things were brighter. We did celebrate few Diwalis with semi-Indian ecstasy and replace those oil lamps with Chinese made garland lights. Of course, being autumn, we are assured of not blowing off those lights, to our happiness. This year is a dampener, I did not even took a traditional head-bath and I often blame it always on the never complaining ‘time’.

I guess its totally personal. One can relish on whatever they’ve got and one always wants more. I fell to to the later and I regret it more than ever. Diwali was not just about those crackers (we eat them here and we light them in India) but, its about bringing everyone together, looking at each other across the streets, greeting peeple with joy, eat happily and fill the sky with light. It’s human’s ever lasting fight against the darkness that for one day will kneel down before him and pay tributes.

I miss all those treats and sweets that my mom used to make and the friends used to bring to us. The fragrance of new clothes and the scent of the burning oil.

May this Diwali bring everyone the light they are waiting for and the happiness they wish. The festival of lights shall never be gone from my heart and God shall help me find the same joy here in my new home, America.

I wish you all a very happy Diwali.

Stories of Life – I love this Ghost

October 23rd, 2008

This is truely an amazing story, I should say experience. Most of you wouldn’ believe (as if I care:)), but what I am about to tell you is a fact, pure fact.

Thirteen years back…..

a tragedy stuck my family. Death of my Grandmother was not exactly unexpected. We knew that it is coming as she was very sick from past few days and everyone kid of expecting that she is counting her days now. Its so hard if you know something in advance that would break your heart. Grandma was especially close to me and my brother. My father was the last child in my Grandma’s family and she loved being here mostly because, one she hates my Mom personally, two she loves to eat anything my Mom makes.

She was in her early eighties and probably her children had already came to life’s terms and did not burden their hearts. Me and my brother were on the other side of the turf and started breathing heavily for the last couple of days.

And it came, the time to say good-bye to our Grandma and we were just in deep sorrow. There is a saying in Telugu that “The one that left us is always good” and true to that, she had lot of affection for us. Our house was filled with saddened faces and a host of deprived faces and sorrowed air. In a nutshell, I would not wish those moments come back to my life, ever.

She was bedridden for last two weeks and we volunteered our bedroom for her for that whole time. Cremation was completed and every one came back from the grave yard with heavy shoulders. Soon enough, night fell upon that evening with a very strange gloom, more so in every one’s eyes.

Everyone just slept whereever they could find place; it was not a big house to squeeze so many relatives. The preist adviced that no adult can sleep in the bedroom where she died and the only room that was spacious was quite obvious. I decided to sleep in that room that night, while my brother thought I was a bit crazy as often people doesn’t like to be near dead bodies and a very fresh scent of it. We both loved our Grandma to our cores, so my decision was overpowered by my love towards her and after few objections, no one stopped me from doing that.

Soon every one was asleep; including me. But,..

suddenly at midnight, I heard a voice calling me, initially thought that it was a dream, but I can feel that my senses are perfect and I am not sleeping. I opened my eyes to my amazement and saw that my Grandma was sitting right in the center of the room and asked me sit down near her. Without having a clue of what was happening I just saw beside her and we had a brief talk. I do not know what happened after that but I slept the whole night on the bare floor at the same spot.

Morning brought me goose-bumps, but you know what, I love this Ghost, it was my Grandma more than anything and we all love her a lot.

…and she is welcome to visit me anytime she wants.

In the memory of my Grandma, a little late but better than never.

Chandamama

October 21st, 2008

The closest celestial object to Earth which we fondly call Chandamama, will soon receive a visitor from the land which believes it to be a God. India’s ISRO is launching Chandrayan, its maiden journey to the moon is a historical event both with respect to ISRO spatial capabilities and scientific research. A wonderful subject of interest from God knows how long ago, our cultural integration with moon was always enchanted.

The mythological importance of moon had ever imposed long lasting memories on this divine land and soon it would be brought closer than we ever had, thanks to the wonderful scientific brains who had strived and worked hard with their heart out. Congratulations for getting us much close than we can imagine to our beloved Chandamama.

No country on this planet might have such a warm and close relationship when it comes to the moon. Poets, writers, story tellers and even moms were so fascinated by that object that it has its own special place in their hearts. Today we are going to explore our mama, from a very close perspective and understand the scientific relevance of it.

Once gain, congratulations to ISRO and the people of India on making the dream come true and wish you all the success with the Chandrayan mission.

The Golden Apple

October 21st, 2008

Due to my present working assignment, I have been using Mac Book Pro for around 2 months now. For 16 long years, PC dominated my work environment and honestly I got used to that.

So during these few weeks, involuntarily, my brain has started comparing both these machines, apple to apple, no I guess I should say PC. Mac is a wonderful machine no doubt, sleek, beautiful, slender and built like a rock. So far the OS has been good and there was nothing that came up annoying using its features. But the most annoying part is the keyboard, its not a standard ISO layout (most of the keys are..) and since I do lot of programming, I desperately need keys like page up/down, begin-end, delete-backspace, etc. You can achieve those things in Mac, but you have to do it by using more than one key, sometimes three. It has cut down my typing speed drastically,  I should say.

And, I was also surprised that Macs now support Intel processors and my machine has one. So I thought, why the heck it costs more than $2000 ? It could not find the rationality. The A/C power adapter has magnetic end and costs $200 to replace, a power adapter for $200 ?! shame. If I were a manager, I would have bought 4 Dell laptops than buying one Mac, you know why? the ROI on a Mac is always negative. The processors change so often that before  you open the box, the next one comes up. With rapidly changing hardware environment, why would someone spend so much on something so dead. Mac may work for personal users, who wish to make their laptop look white with that cute logo of apple. But again, what is it that you are looking for, a golden shoe who you do not wish to use or a regular one who you don’t care using it regularly?

I do not have any personal grudge on apple, but I think apple wants the same monopoly like MS did a few years ago. Everyone cried fowl and now I see amazing reviews for the new Mac, giving it a 5 start rating. I guess if someone spends $2000, you can build a laptop thousand times better than a Mac. Its not about the style, its about the use.

I don’t care how my laptop looks from outside, from inside, it should rock.

So to all those apple fanatics who buy stuff for sake, think before you buy the next one.

Chanakya's Wisdom

October 20th, 2008

Let me tell you something up front, this article is not about History or Chanakya in particular. Its just that we are turning a leaf of that great genius and quoting it here.

When Chandragupta was young and being trained by Chanakya, on their way a thorn was stuck in Chanakya’s leg. Being a person who does not loose any opportunity to teach Chanakya, he quickly grabbed the pinching thorn by his hand out of his leg and did not whisper a sound. Two lessons here. One, you do not show your pain when something strikes and two you should be able to pull it, right up.

He then took that thorn, burned it into ashes and then buried it under a foot of soil. Obviously amused and clueless, Gupta asked Chankya “what did you do that for?”. Chanakya quietly replied “You should never leave a trace of enemy, not even his remains. If I put the thorn away, who knows it might hurt one more person again, it might grow into a small plant and cultivate more thorns. By burning it, I made sure it never came back”.

Chanakya’s theory is simple yet powerful. Do not defeat the enemy, destroy them. Now, coming back to the actual story, I took the pain to pull that page out of Chanakya’s life was to draw a comparison to the ongoing India Vs Australia Series.

The 2nd test match is more or less Chanakya’s wisdom. Dhoni applied the morale of the story to this test match and crushed Australians to make sure they never came back. Australians never faced a team which intimidates them so much ever, they were never underdogs and neither were so weak. It is a world class team, which learns from its own mistakes and excels when it matters. However, the current Indian team is almost invincible, un-beaten and will play with utmost aggression.

It is not every day you can expect Sehwag, Gambhir, Dravid, Sachin, Lakshman, Ganguly and Dhoni fail, if so do it at your own peril. It is world’s most devastating line-up anyone could ever imagine. There is only one way India will loose a test match in this series, if all those batsmen mentioned above do not bat well, read, do not bat well, it doesn’t matter if Australia bowlers are good or bad. At least, Dravid, Sachin and Lakshman are those batsmen, who get out of their own mistakes rather than a good ball.

This is the time to stamp the authority on Australian Team and who could do that better than India.

A great man & a great sport

October 17th, 2008

Let me first congratulate Sachin Tendulkar for crossing the mile stone that another great man had set; highest Test runs in the history of Cricket. I did not watch every ball he played (I live on the other side of the ocean(s) and had to forgo my sleep for a while) but what ever I could, it was nothing less than a masterpiece. Adding more music to my ears was Ganguly batting with him on the other end. They were batting in tandem, heads up and shoulders freed with exquisite cover drives and sublime cuts.

A great man has crossed a milestone and its a moment of celebration, not for him but for every single Cricket lover and more that the game in itself. He quotes..

When I got out in Bangalore a few guys made it a point to remind me about the record. I knew I had done a good job there and that was important. My focus today was just to watch the ball. The journey over the last 19 yrs has been fantastic. There are stones thrown at you and you turn it in to milestones. I was not that excited to be honest. The focus was to continue and not lose concentration. Me and Sourav focussed on batting out the day. I didn’t really think of the record too many times. I try to keep the records out of my mind and my aim is mainly to contribute. It’s nice that it’s come at the right time, the Australians are a quality opposition. I planned to stay till the end but it didn’t happen. I thought i didn’t use my feet well but that’s the beauty of the game. The ball changes and so does the game.”

At a time when recession fears are lingering around with world financial markets tumbling like a pack of cards, Cricket has given me not only a breather but a deep releif. And watching my favorite cricketer was the added icing to the cake. I could not have asked for more (of course as greedy as I am, I would have wished a century from the Master Blaster) and I hope things turn out best for India as that would be the best gift the team can give back to him.

… and I said

October 17th, 2008

When freedom personifies an action, it yields ‘words’. God gave the gift of expression and I catalog it…blessed I am.

There is nothing under the sky not to know and understand and in my quest of that journey, I have learnt and learning. This blog is my ‘freedom’ than anything else. I can be wicked and wiz, dumb and dormant, express and elate and yet be ‘free’.

Welcome to my freeeeeeeeeeeeeedom.

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Now reading

Srimad Ramayanamu – Ayodhya Kanda
by Acharya Pullela Sri Rama Chandrudu

Policomy

October 17th, 2008

The recent fiasco over the Nano project pulling out of Singur, West Bengal is a peffect example of policomy. Wonder what that is? It stands for Political-Economy. Policomy is a social culture developed over past few centuries in India and still remain rooted. It is true that progress is something that cannot be stopped, it can olnly be paused and two Ms were standing on either side of the carpet had given us more than a reason to think, what they’ve done for progress. Does policomy works? Indeed NOT.

Mamta Benerjee donned a sudden role of protogonist, who came out from nowhere to save the apartheid (as she put it) and wanted to rescue all those farmers who were ‘unwilling’ to give-up their land for the Nano project. While another M, Mr. Modi the current CM of Gujarat also came from nowhere, had worked overtime to make sure that Tata’s relocate the project to Gujarat. While one was clearly thinking of Politics, the other was completely thinking of economy. Two contrasting characters, who very well knew what they were doing.

Mamta and Modi were two faces of Policomy, while the fomer choose Politics, the later was wiser to pick ‘economy’. Mamta is a shrewed polititian who wanted to project herself as a savior of the poor, but in the race, she missed the most important part of it, the finish line.  More than Mamta, it is the people who can easily be branded as loosers. The so called activists, supporters, party-men are self-blinded and do not think beyond an hour into the future. As always few people’s greed is a wider famine.

Do not practise Policomy, it is a dangerous cancer and people like Mamta are just the breeding grounds.